You Love Me, You Love Me Not
Exhibition of Contemporary Art
from the Sindika Dokolo Collection
When designing the graphic identity of You Love Me, You Love Me Not – an art exhibition that brought to Porto eighty pieces from one of the most important contemporary African art collections, the Sindika Dokolo Collection – we were faced with the following dilemma: how to express a sense of Africanness (that permeates the whole show, even the works by non-African artists) and, at the same time, avoid the clichés of “black” or “primitive” art that reduce it to half a dozen ethnographic platitudes? On the one side, we chose a traditional African element – a clothing pattern from a Seydou Keita photograph – and
favoured the colours red and black (generally associated with the African continent and, in particular, with the Angolan national flag). On the other side, the overall graphic scheme – from the typographical strategy to the geometrical depuration – conveys the contemporary feel that defines the collection.
The very rejection of a figurative solution reflects the iconoclastic nature of many of the pieces in the collection. Our design concept also plays on the exhibition’s title, geometrically suggesting a sort of “loves me/loves me not” game that brings to mind the ever faltering nature of our feelings towards Africa…